Two Types of Mind -Pure Mind and Impure Mind (Post No.2836)


Article written by London swaminathan


Date: 24 May 2016


Post No. 2836


Time uploaded in London :–  18-05


( Thanks for the Pictures)




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There  is a beautiful sloka/couplet in Sanskrit explaining what is pure and what is impure:-

Mano hi dwividham proktam sudhdham chaasudhdhameva ca

Asudhdham kaamasanalpam sudhdham kaamavivarjitam

–Amruta bindu Upanishad

One who has too many desires in mind is impure; those who are without desires are pure.

Very simple couplet with a grand message.

Most of us are trying to fulfil one desire and immediately another desire follows it. It is an endless process.

Our ancient saints compared fulfilling desires to trying to extinguish fire with ghee. The more butter you pour into the sacrificial fire the more it glows. The more you try to fulfil one desire the more desires crop up.

Hindus from Kanyakumari to Kashmir thought the same way about the desires. Great Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar says in his Tirukkural:-

Purity consists in the freedom from all desires,

Which comes from the relentless pursuit of truth (Kural 364)

With the pursuit of truth comes absence of desire which leads to purity and also ultimate release.

Good Choice, Bad Choice Road Sign with blue sky and clouds.

Socrates Anecdote

Elaborating on this couplet SM Diaz says in his commentary:

“Valluvar emphasises the importance of the pursuit of Truth, just as much as Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. If the desire for the truth is strong enough, according to Valluvar, the renunciation of all worldly desires comes easy.


One recollects in this connection the famous incident of the young man who asked Socrates, ‘What is truth and how to find it’, and of how the great sage pushed his head into a tub of water, till the youth struggled for breath with great effort and got himself released. Then Socrates told him, ‘when your need to find out the truth is as much as your need for air as just now, you will find it out soon enough.’


The Bhagavad-Gita lists out Purity of heart and Truth as two of the attributes of the Divine State in slokas one and two of Chapter 16.


Buddha also said ‘the root cause of all evil is desire’. There is a beautiful couplet in the Dhammapada:-

“Cut down the forest of desires, not only a tree; for danger is in the forest. If you cut down the forest and its undergrowth, then Bikkhus, you will be free on the path of freedom.”


English and Sanskrit proverbs also emphasise this:
Desire has no rest.

Humble hearts have humble desires.

He that desires but little has no need of much.


Following are the Sanskrit proverbs:


Aasaa dukhasya kaaranam

Desire invites misery.


Aasaavadhim ko gatah

Has anyone seen the shores of desire?


Kaalah kriidati, gachchat aayus tadapi  na muncat yaasaavaayuh – mohamudgara

Time teases, age advances, yet the grip of desire loosens not.


In Tamil they say that “the moustache has become grey, but the desire never greys/ages”

The meaning is ‘desire does not diminish though the body withers’.


So one must learn to be content with what one has. That is the first step to get rid of evil desires. Then one can reach the desire less state.



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